chapter  4
“Maybe ‘cause things were harder . . . you had to be more friendly”: Race and Class in the Lesbian Community of the 1950s
Pages 38

The emergence of the tough bar lesbian was only one aspect of the changes in the lesbian community during the 1950s. Black lesbians expanded their house parties to last the entire weekend and began the process of desegregating the bars. At the same time a group of upwardly mobile white lesbians carved out a space for themselves at the Carousel. As a result, the lesbian community became increasingly complex with an underlying tension between the unity of one large community in the face of common oppression as lesbians and the integrity of separate subcommunities each with its own strategies of resistance. Throughout

the decade the tough bar lesbians-Black and white-represented the expanding consciousness of solidarity between and among lesbians.